Monday, November 07, 2005

Visualization - The First Face of Leadership

If one's intention is to lead, whether to implement or innovate, some visualization of an outcome is necessary. Visualization is a tool for leaders. It may be a guide for one's own action and by sharing it with others, become part of their guidance too. This is 'the vision thing' we like to hear or see from those we have chosen to follow.

When we're in the moment there's no, 'OK, let's check the vision thing' because a powerful vision will have taken up residence in our minds and be contributing to the action. A good illustration is the off-court practice of basketball players re-running a mental movie of sinking the ball from a challenging position and when they find themselves in that position they 'just do it.'

We fulfill our intention to lead and implement by structuring. We demonstrate the values of leading and innovation by improvising and the values of innovation and improvisation by realizing. Our visualization is the outcome of these three practices, structuring, improvising, realizing. Structuring - 'This is the situation on the court, there is the basket.' Improvising - 'I'm dodging her on the left, faking a pass to my team-mate and then tipping it in.' Realizing - 'It is happening/I am doing it!'

Looking for a complementary voice on this subject, I found this at dan taarin: meaningful chunks

why does visualization work?

Visualization aids cognition not because of some mystical superiority of pictures over other forms of thought and communication, but rather because visualization helps the user by making the world outside the mind a resource for thought in fairly specific ways .... visualization amplifies cognition by (1) increasing the memory and processing resources available to the users, (2) reducing search for information, (3) using visual representations to enhance the detection of patterns, (4) enabling perceptual inference operations, (5) using perceptual attention mechanisms for monitoring, and (6) encoding information in a manipulable medium. (The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook)

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